S&P 500 snaps six-day winning streak amid slowing global growth

Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell for the first time in seven days, ending the longest streak of gains in 20 months, as Japan’s economy grew less than forecast and Bank of America Corp. cut its outlook for Chinese growth.

Alcoa Inc., Intel Corp. and DuPont Co. dropped the most in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. First Solar Inc. lost 4.8 percent after German solar-panel maker Solarworld AG predicted negative earnings for the year. U.S. Steel Corp. slumped 3 percent as iron ore prices slumped to its lowest since 2009 as Chinese purchases declined.

The S&P 500 slid 0.5 percent to 1,398.42 at 11:03 a.m. in New York. About seven stocks fell for each that rose in the benchmark gauge for U.S. equities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 0.6 percent to 13,130.51 today.

“There are some worries that while we’re all focused on Europe, China could actually be one of the reasons why GDP disappoints and that is a negative,” Jeffrey Kleintop, chief market strategist at LPL Financial Corp. in Boston, which oversees $350 billion, said in a telephone interview.

Greece’s economy contracted 6.2 percent in the second quarter, compared with 7 percent forecast in a Bloomberg survey. Japan’s Cabinet Office said today the nation’s economic growth slowed to an annualized 1.4 percent pace in the three months through June. The median forecast economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for 2.3 percent growth.

Weaker Economy

Bank of America cut its 2012 economic growth forecast for China to 7.7 percent from 8 percent, according to a report today from Ting Lu, an economist based in Hong Kong.

“The markets have come a long way in a reasonably short period of time,” Jim Russell, the Cincinnati-based chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, which oversees about $104 billion, said in a phone interview. “The macro environment continues to weaken, and we are looking for policy makers to act sooner rather than later.”

Investors sold shares of companies most tied to economic growth, as raw-material producers and energy stocks posted the biggest losses out of 10 groups in the S&P 500. Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum producer, fell 1.8 percent to $8.82 for the biggest drop in the Dow. Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, slid 1.3 percent to $26.54. DuPont, the most valuable U.S. chemicals producer, retreated 1.2 percent to $50.07.

Solar Losses

First Solar slumped 5.9 percent, the most in the S&P 500, to $20.40. The world’s biggest maker of thin-film panels declined after Solarworld posted its second-biggest quarterly loss.

U.S. Steel lost 3 percent to $22.72. Iron ore prices slumped to a 31-month low after purchases by China, the world’s biggest buyer, fell to the smallest in three months as slowing economic growth curbed demand.

Tesoro Corp. climbed 9.1 percent to $38.73 for the biggest gain in the S&P 500. The largest independent refiner on the U.S. West Coast agreed to buy BP Plc’s California oil refinery and 800 gasoline stations in the Southwest for $1.18 billion, expanding on the West Coast.

Google Inc. gained 1.1 percent to $649.21 after the owner of the world’s most popular search engine said it will cut about 4,000 jobs and shut down a third of the facilities at the Motorola Mobility unit.

Bloomberg News

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